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Walnut Creek, Concord, Pleasant Hill Chambers of Commerce Candidate Forum - Board of Supervisors District IV - October 2022

The Walnut Creek, Concord and Pleasant Hill Chambers of Commerce hosted the candidate forum featuring the District 4 Supervisor candidates Debora Allen and Ken Carlson, with Matt Guichard as moderator. This forum highlights the extensive business and finance experience of Debora Allen.

The League of Women Voters and the Contra Costa County Library hosts a live in-person candidate forum for the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors, District 4. Hear directly from the candidates about their experience and positions on issues relevant to the office.

Contra Costa County has partnered with the League of Women Voters for a forum of candidates for Contra Costa County Supervisor District 4 in the November 8, 2022 General Election.

Print/Online News


Exposing the Truth in Negative Ads

By David King, November 1, 2022


"In the Contra Costa County Supervisor District 4 race, campaigners are also resorting to negative ads. Ken Carlson’s campaign has produced several negative political ads attacking his opponent, Debora Allen. In several hit pieces, she is labeled as a Republican since 1998. It is a dubious claim for a couple of reasons. First, it is not true. Allen has been a registered NPP (No Party Preference) since 2019. But the real headscratcher on this cheap campaign tactic is, Ken was a registered Republican for 30 years up until 2014. Also, some of his most touted endorsers including Mark DeSaulnier and Tim Grayson were once registered Republicans.

The claim that Allen is  supported by an alt-right extremist group has no basis in fact, at least not in any substantial financial support. Nor does the claim on her stance on abortion. Allen has been clear in public forums, she is Pro-Choice. Despite these continuous misinformation campaigns, Carlson attempts to redirect the attention on his tactics by admonishing Allen for her negative campaign ads." We found no such ads from Allen or her PAC. There is one potential exception.

Her website implies Carlson may be beholden to special interest. Allen says she has a reputation for tough negotiations with labor unions. Her site identifies the funding sources behind Carlson and his PAC  opposing her – with a whopping $230,000 from labor unions."

Law enforcement drama could shape Contra Costa County supervisor race 



  • "As a transit official, Allen has fostered strong ties to law enforcement, winning the Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriffs Association’s support..."
  • "Allen, ... expressed support for an inspector general but one that oversees all county departments and not the sheriff’s office alone."
  • "She has at least one ally on the county board: Supervisor Candace Andersen, who represents the Tri-Valley cities Danville, San Ramon and Alamo further south."
  • “She’s a smart woman who understands the complexity of financial issues,” Andersen said of Allen. “I want someone who can take the deep-dive on all our budgets and grants with her fiscal acumen.”

BART: Inspector general faced ‘pattern of obstruction,’ grand jury report finds 

By Eliyahu Kamisher, June 30 2022

Debora Allen has been a leader since 2018 in the creation, development and expansion of the Office of BART Inspector General. The 2022 Grand Jury report clearly states that not all directors were part of the obstruction outlined in the report and that three directors have been supportive of the IG work.


"BART and its unions sought to interfere with the work of the agency’s independent inspector general by restricting access to information and employees, a new Alameda County civil grand jury report said."

"Debora Allen, an East Bay board member, who often clashes with the board’s progressive-dominated majority, has called for a stronger inspector general at BART. She said the grand jury report is a 'reaffirmation of the criticisms I have consistently made over the past five years.'"

Contra Costa supervisor candidates reflect on their role

By The PioneerApril 26, 2022


"Contra Costa County supervisors are responsible for the efficient operation of all county government services and programs. They shape public policy and establish priorities to ensure all residents receive essential services needed to maintain quality of life. They oversee a $4 billion annual budget.

Supervisors have broad powers of appointment to their own advisory committees, as well as other important boards and commissions like the pension board, assessment appeals board, health services and planning commission.

Supervisors represent Contra Costa’s interests on other regional, local and state policy-making boards to shape policy covering a broad range of issues affecting our county, including transportation, the environment, air quality, water, housing, labor and economic development.

Supervisors must first serve residents with integrity and high ethical standards and be good stewards of the taxpayer funding they receive. Decision-making should be done for the good of the people, not special interests and politics."

- Debora Allen,

Editorial: What is BART trying to hide with obstruction of auditor?  Conflict-of-interest findings show why Legislature should strengthen independent oversight mandated by Bay Area voters

By Mercury News and East Bay Times Editorial Boards, April 16, 2022

This editorial outlines a key initiative of BART Director Debora Allen, the Office of BART Inspector General. Debora worked tirelessly with CA Senator Steve Glazer since 2018 to bring more oversight to BART, including establishing the IG office. This editorial outlines pending legislation at the time, Senate Bill 1488, a bill authored by Glazer with the help of Debora Allen to add additional authority to the role of the BART Inspector General.

The BART General Manager and six other BART Directors put forward a motion to oppose SB1488, "nitpicking the bill with claims that SB 1488 is an overreach." On a 6-3 vote (Directors Allen, McPartland and Ames voting no) the BART Board of Directors voted to oppose the bill, without letting the IG explain why the changes are needed.


"I think this is just more stalling of the inspector general’s work by the BART agency. What are we afraid of here?" Allen asked as she condemned the staff and board opposition to the bill. "The taxpayers that now fund 90% of what the system spends and riders that fill in the rest both deserve to have confidence in the agency and how it spends $2.5 billion per year."

"Exactly" says the EBT Editorial Boards.

Five supervisor hopefuls name housing, homelessness and crime as top priorities 

By Tamara Steiner, January 21, 2022


Allen is a small business owner and accountant with a focus on data driven decision making.

A strong supporter of public safety, she wants to see a unified effort between law enforcement, the criminal justice system, the fire department and mental health services. She believes mental health teams are a valuable adjunct to police services but should not be a replacement to trained officers as first responders.

She says Contra Costa County should be the job center for the entire region. “Attracting, retaining and supporting ­businesses in our county is critical to generating new jobs.”

Jobs, housing and transportation are all part of a “three legged stool,” she said in an email to the Pioneer. They must progress together. “Imbalance of one makes the stool fall over.”

She calls for more fiscal oversight and transparency and a modernization of county systems. “This means laying the plans for streamlining services with new technology for future budget savings.”

BART Director Debora Allen announces candidacy for District 4 Contra Costa County Supervisor 2022

By Publisher, December 18, 2021


“I’m excited to take this important step in my fight to improve the quality of life of all Contra Costa residents,” said Allen, a 35-year Contra Costa resident. “I believe my close scrutiny of government spending, my background as a business owner and my experience fighting for fiscal transparency and stability for the region’s largest transportation agency make me uniquely qualified to serve as county supervisor. I’m looking forward to the upcoming campaign and the June primary.”

 Allen was first elected as Board Director for BART District 1 in 2016 and easily won re-election in 2020, besting her nearest opponent by 75,000 votes. Her willingness to stand up for suburban taxpayers and fight for quality-of-life improvements for transit riders – including station hardening, a ban on panhandling, and tougher crime and fare evasion enforcement – often put her at odds with the urban city-backed majority on the board.

Allen was instrumental in the creation and development of the Office of BART Inspector General and serves as the first Chair of the Standing BART Audit Committee, important steps in eliminating wasteful spending practices at the transportation agency.

If elected supervisor, she would bring that same tenacity, accountability and common-sense approach to government spending to the county board. Allen says that as supervisor her priorities would include public safety, regional transportation issues, improved mental health services and the efficient use of taxpayer money. Though a supporter of new housing, she would also fight to bring new jobs to the county in order to improve the overall jobs-housing balance.